TIFF widens jury pool for its Platform program, lowers prize amount to $20,000

TORONTO — Organizers at the Toronto International Film Festival are shaking up the composition of the jury for the competitive Platform program.

The three-member panel, which traditionally was built with filmmakers of global renown, has broadened its scope to include more voices from the entertainment industry.

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This year's jury will feature movie director Athina Rachel Tsangari, Hollywood trade publication Variety's international film critic Jessica Kiang and Carlo Chatrian, the newly appointed artistic director of the Berlin Film Festival.

The change comes as TIFF organizers reduce the Platform best film prize amount to $20,000 from its previous $25,000 value.

TIFF artistic director and co-head Cameron Bailey says the juror changes mark a "natural progression" for the program, while fellow co-head Andrea Picard added that organizers expect the composition will "shift the focus of the jury discussions."

Now in its fifth year, the Platform program features up to 12 works that have high artistic merit and a strong directorial vision.

Past films which showed in the program include Barry Jenkins' "Moonlight," which won the best picture Oscar, and Karyn Kusama's "Destroyer," starring Nicole Kidman.

This year's Platform lineup will be announced in August.

The 44th Toronto International Film Festival runs from Sept. 5-15.

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